A systematic review attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question The key characteristics of a systematic review are:
For more information, see What is a Systematic Review?
Time: Systematic reviews require 18 months of preparation, on average.
A Team: The ideal systematic review team includes:
A clearly defined question: Clarify the key question(s) of your systematic review and the rationale for each question. Use the PICO framework to identify key concepts of the question. Determine inclusion/exclusion criteria.
A written protocol: You need to write a protocol outlining the study methodology. The protocol should include:
Need help writing a protocol? See the University of Warwick's protocol template.
A registered protocol: After you write a protocol, you should register it with PROSPERO, an International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. Registration is free and open to anyone undertaking systematic reviews of the effects of interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions, for which there is a health-related outcome.
Comprehensive literature searches: First, identify systematic reviews that may address your key questions. Then, identify appropriate databases and conduct comprehensive and detailed literature searches that can be documented and duplicated.
Citation management: You should have working knowledge of EndNote Basic to help manage citations retrieved from literature searches.
Follow reporting guidelines: Use appropriate guidelines for reporting your review for publication.
This guide has been adapted with permission from the Duke University Medical Center Library and Archives.